Why Are We Afraid of Friday the 13th and the Number 13?

Why Are We Afraid of Friday the 13th and the Number 13?


For centuries, we’ve been wary of the number
13. We’ve built office blocks and condominiums
with 12th and 14th floors but no 13th, and Winston Churchill, considered by many to be
one of the most rational and pragmatic historical figures, refused to sit in the 13th row at
the theater. Even some airlines, like Continental, Air
France, and Ryanair, don’t have a 13th row. We both fear and respect the number 13 – but
just what is triskaidekophobia – the fear of the number thirteen – and where does
it originate from? Today we’ll find out, in this episode of
the Infographics show, Why are we afraid of Friday the 13th and the number 13. First of all, we must consider the number
12 as the perfect number. The ancient Sumerians produced a numeral system
based on the number 12 that we still enjoy today. Calendars have 12 months; the day is halved
by two sets of 12. 12 is a whole, complete, perfectly divisible
number. So why, then, is 13 so sinister? Is it just that 12 is so ideal that we must
find something inherently bad in 13? As any theology student will tell you, there
were 13 disciples at the last supper and the 13th person to take his seat was probably
Jesus, although some say it was the backstabbing Judas who took chair number 13. Whoever took that last 13th seat came to a
sticky end. Matthew says that Judas committed suicide
after the crucifixion while the early Christian leader Papias says that “Judas walked around
in the world a sad example of impiety, for his body having swollen to such an extent
that he could not pass where a chariot could pass easily.” So Judas may well have grown to a size 13. The Last Supper took place on the 13th day
of the month, and the crucifixion occurred on Friday the 13th. The Knight’s Templar, protectors of the
Holy Grail, the cup Jesus drank from at that ominous shindig, were all slaughtered, on
order from Pope Clement, on, yes, Friday the 13th. 13 is also an unlucky number if you find yourself
unfortunate or guilty enough to be sentenced to hang for a crime. There were thirteen long steps up to the gallows
and only one short cut down. A coven of witches has 13 members and if there
are thirteen letters in your name you are surely cursed to damnation. Jack the Ripper, Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson
and Hitler all had 13 letters in their birth names. And it’s not just on planet earth that the
number 13 is considered unlucky. Apollo 13, the seventh manned mission in the
Apollo Space program was launched in 1970 from the Kennedy Space Center but the lunar
landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded and the astronauts were lucky to return to
earth six days later with their lives intact. Even in space the number 13 is the unluckiest
number. In tarot, the 13th card in the deck is Death. To draw the Death card in the tarot doesn’t
mean that you will die straight away. Death in the tarot sense is more about change,
rebirth and creation – but if you do draw the death card on the 13th day of the month,
and see a black cat crossing your path, and the moon is full, and you happen to be superstitious,
you may potentially have an unlucky day. But you probably won’t die, not that day
anyway. But why is Friday considered the unlucky day? In biblical terms Friday has had a checkered
history. Jesus was crucified, and Eve tempted Adam,
on a lazy Friday afternoon. Abel was slain by Cain and the great floods
began on a Friday. Historically, Friday doesn’t fare well either. Citizens were executed in Rome on a Friday,
and also on a Friday, in Britain, people were usually hung, meaning that on Saturday people
were usually hung-over after merrily watching one of their fellow men be eliminated the
night before. Fridays in theological and historical texts
usually spells bad news. The number 13 isn’t totally unlucky wherever
you go in time and history – the ancient Egyptians considered 13 fortuitous, China has a deep
fear of the number 4, the Japanese avoid the number 9, and the unluckiest number in Italy
is seventeen. Indians have a deep distrust of 26, and in
Bulgaria the number 088 888 8888 is the one to be most terrified of all numbers following
the acquisition of that jinxed phone number by a number of high profile people who subsequently
died according to urban myth. The former US flag had 13 red and white stripes
and 13 stars representing the first 13 colonies that founded the country. Christopher Columbus landed on the Western
hemisphere on October 13th,, although deliberately changed the official date to the 12th of October
to avoid the scandal of a cursed landing. Sikh religion believes the number 13 is special
– in Punjabi 13 translates to “yours” or “I am yours my lord” and is considered
divinely lucky. Moreover, in bakery circles 13 is also considered
lucky, a baker’s dozen, or 13, is the ordinarily 12 with one added, just for luck. The number 13 also represents femininity as
the number of lunar or menstrual cycles in a year is often around 12 or 13. In China women make offerings of moon cakes
with the number 13 imprinted on them as 13 denotes blood, fertility and lunar potency
and good luck from the Great Female Goddess. 13 represents the life cycle and the rhythm
of nature and the moon. So although considered unlucky by some, the
number 13 represents the very thing that brought us all here to watch this episode, so perhaps
13 isn’t that unlucky after all. So, what do you think about the number 13? Lucky or unlucky? Let us know why in the comments. Also, be sure to check out our other video
called Taboos Around the World! Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!

100 thoughts on “Why Are We Afraid of Friday the 13th and the Number 13?”

  1. Oh come on people , 13 is my lucky number, well this year (2019) I've turned 13 and not just that'll it was on 13 Friday September !

  2. Thats The Reason Why Can I Only Count Up To 12 When I Was Under 5 Years old

    And When i count 1 – 100 i always forgot #13

  3. There scared of the number 13 because that is when you become a teenager and that’s some of the worst years of your life

  4. “If you have 13 letters in your name, you’re cursed.”
    Me, counts how many letters are in my first and last name altogether
    “Oh shoot, I have 13 letters.”

  5. Posting this at:
    13the house in the building
    pincode includes number 13
    My name contains around 13 character
    A guy just died in video game by 13 kills
    I built 13 walls using 130 wood.
    I just posted this 13 seconds ago
    after—
    I just posted this 13 seconds ago
    after—

    I just posted this 13 seconds ago

  6. Friday is Freyas day, there are 13 moon cycles. This is linked to the moon and fertility and cats were associated to the goddess. The name Freya is commonly substantiated with the name Mary. This is why 13 and moon goddess. Women used to be able to choose if they got pregnant based on luna cycles and this was considered divine.

  7. Wait!

    • My Birthday is August 13
    • Also My Name is Almost 13
    {My real Name}
    • And Next Year is August 13 which is Friday

    I'm Curious what will Happen

    And Its January 4

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